November 21, 2022

Blockchain in Property – ever wondered what’s it is all about?

If you tell people often enough that you are great, at some point they will start to believe you.  

By Neil Singer, CEO, Singer Vielle.
Australian British Chamber of Commerce


Similarly, I have been to various property conferences where a poor speaker on stage is bestowing the virtues of blockchain technology, no-one knows what he is talking about but look around and the audience gradually start nodding their head. “It must be great, because he keeps saying it is and everyone seems to agree”. Well, is it?


So, what is blockchain technology? The key word describing blockchain is “trust”. It is the ultimate security mechanism for storing data in an immutable audit trail. You don’t need to know how it works – you use Excel and Word, but have you ever asked how they work? So the same applies to blockchain – I can easily explain it but don’t become too hung up on how it works. All you need to know is that when data is recorded in a blockchain ledger it cannot be changed, and when someone has an ownership in their digital wallet this fact is 100% reliable.


The significance of this is that 3rd parties do not need to verify. In property terms, if you had the ownership documents within your digital wallet, this would be absolute proof of ownership. Currently when you sell a property, someone checks your ownership, maybe an attorney – if you can remove the need to check, imagine the speed, ease and certainty it delivers. Removing 3rd party intermediaries also reduces costs – this is why blockchain is so significant for the property industry. Now you can start nodding your heads!


RMIT University released on 29th June 2022 their report “Blockchain: Opportunities and disruptions for real estate” having collaborated with the Real Estate Institute of Australia and the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. The report encourages the industry to adopt. Should you?


Allow me to show you a live case which demonstrates why the report is correct. My UK commercial agency, Singer Vielle, developed a proprietary platform some years ago as the first to enable a purchaser to legally acquire a property online as part of the transaction process. Our clicktopurchase platform generates electronic offers and contact notes which include legally-binding digitally-encrypted and hashed signatures. Since hash technology is used in blockchain, we had an existing business ideal for using blockchain and in 2017 we commenced storing the entire audit trail of a transaction in the clicktopurchase blockchain. So, if you make a legal offer at $1m for a property, this is proven; you cannot later claim it was only $900,000. When a legal contract is formed online, it cannot be disputed. You will appreciate the trust this brings to the process. See here our blockchain ledger:


There are many other applications for the industry and you will see adoption grow. Whilst the property industry has been hugely technophobic, Covid changed attitudes. We now see a dramatic increase in interest in tech adoption generally. I recommend you carefully consider how blockchain and other tech can assist your business, since failing to look forward will be very damaging to your future success.


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